Recounting Hillary Firsts

By Sydney Jean Gottfried

On the day Hillary Clinton is expected to announce her 2016 run for the presidency, many Americans are wrought with anticipation…and perhaps some relief to see a two-year period of speculation come to an end. Where numbers stand now, Hillary has a real chance at becoming the first female president, and if not, at least looks fairly likely to become the first female presidential nominee of either major party. Accomplishing either of these feats would hardly be Mrs. Clinton’s first ‘first’. Throughout a career of trailblazing accomplishments, Hillary Clinton has, so it would seem, been ‘first’ at nearly everything she’s done.

So on the first day of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, let’s recall 16 of Hillary’s firsts.

  1. Hillary became the first ever student at Wellesley College to deliver her class’ commencement speech in 1969, to which she received a standing ovation.

  2. During her time in Arkansas, Hillary became the first female partner of Rose Law Firm.

  3. Hillary was the first female named to Walmart’s Board of Directors. Walmart was one of Rose Law Firm’s clients.

  4. In 1978, Hillary Clinton was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to be the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation, a non-profit corporation established by the U.S. Congress to provide civil legal assistance to those who otherwise would be unable to afford it.

  5. From 1987 to 1991, Hillary served as the first chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession.

  6. While Bill Clinton was president, Hillary Clinton became the first First Lady to have an office in the West Wing, in addition to the usual First Lady offices in the East Wing.

  7. Hillary was the first First Lady to have a postgraduate degree.

  8. As head of the White House Millennium Council, Hillary hosted the first live webcast from the White House as a part of “Millennium Evenings,” a series of lectures that discussed future studies.

  9. Hillary was the first First Lady to be featured on the cover of Vogue.  

  10. Hillary was the first and only First Lady to be subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury for her involvement in the Whitewater Development Corporation, a failed business venture of the Clintons in the 1970s and 1980s.

  11. In 1997, Hillary became the first female politician to win a Grammy Award when she won Best Spoken Word Album for her book, “It Takes a Village.”

  12. When she won her Senate race in 2000, Hillary became the first First Lady elected to public office.

  13. She was also the first person to simultaneously serve in both the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. Government, when the start of her term as senator and the end of her husband’s term as president overlapped by 20 days.

  14. Hillary was the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate from New York.

  15. Although she didn’t win the nomination in 2008, Hillary did become the first woman to be a candidate in every presidential primary and caucus in every U.S. state.

  16. As Secretary of State, Hillary became the first former First Lady to serve in the U.S. Cabinet.